The word “pornography”comes from the Greek porne, meaning “female sex slave” and graphos, meaning “writing” or “sketching.” In Ancient Greece, porne referred the lowest class of prostitutes, one that was considered utterly vile and there for the taking.
The word “pornography” literally refers to “the depiction of women as vile whores.” If pornography is often assumed to neutrally represent sex, it is only because there is an already widespread perception of women’s bodies as filthy and available for male use and abuse. The violence in pornography may be extreme, but the hatred of women depicted in it could not be more common.
It is this fusing of sex with cruelty that defines pornography as a genre. And it is the reason why pornography is so effective at changing men’s attitudes towards women and sex for the worse.